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Report: Terry Francona, Red Sox likely to part ways

Sep 30, 2011, 12:10 AM EDT

Terry Francona, Theo Epstein AP

Stunning news tonight this morning out of Boston.

According to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal, manager Terry Francona is expected to leave the Red Sox organization after a meeting Friday morning with upper management. Allow Rosenthal to explain:

While Francona’s departure is not certain, it is the likely outcome, in part because he is pressing for a resolution, sources say. He would not be fired; the Red Sox would simply decline their club options on him for 2012 and ’13.

Francona and Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein gave no indication that such a major move was coming during their season-wrapping press conference Thursday afternoon at Boston’s Fenway Park.

But something obviously sparked a change within the past several hours.

Perhaps Francona has his eyes on the White Sox’s vacancy. He did coach in their minor league system for five years, at one point serving as skipper to Michael Jordan during the NBA superstar’s short stint with the Birmingham Barons. Or maybe he’ll be swayed by the Nationals, who seem ready to spend big money.

Then again, maybe this wasn’t Francona’s call. “Red Sox Nation” has been seeking out a scapegoat since the club’s historic collapse went final Wednesday night in Baltimore. And the Boston media has egged that blame game on since the middle of this month. It seems insane to give up on a manager who has played a role in securing two World Series titles in the past eight years. And it’s especially insane for a franchise like the Red Sox, who hadn’t won anything since 1918 before Francona stepped aboard. But these are insane times.

The Red Sox’ sad and frustrating September collapse just shifted gears into the realm of tragedy.


UPDATE, 12:57am: According to White Sox beat writer Daryl Van Schouwen of the Chicago Sun-Times, it’s Francona who wants out. “He has had his fill of the whole thing,’’ a source told the paper.

  1. kvanhorn87 - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:25 AM

    Hahahaha! One of the most overrated managers in MLB history. Yes man, I hope the White Sox say no too.

  2. pisano - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:30 AM

    Let me be the first to say if Boston parts ways with Francona they’re foolish. They will regret it. This guy is a winner and who out there is better and more devoted to his players, those guys love Francona. Bad mistake Sox, bad mistake.

    • bigharold - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:12 AM

      As a Yankee fan all I can say is this is asinine, … and thank you very much!

      While Francona is certainly part of the issues the RS had this past season, he would seem to be the least of it. Moreover, his past performance and accomplishments would seem to allow for a bit more latitude here.

      Francona was a big part of bring stability to the RS. While he might have needed to be replaced eventually, .. this seems like the RS throwing him under the bus.

      If this is accurate and Francona is gone, Epstein’s RS better win the WS next year or his behind should be thrown overboard too.!

      • cur68 - Sep 30, 2011 at 3:05 AM

        Holy crap. Tito leaving the BoSox? Say it aint so. I agree bigH; this is asinine. As a Jay’s fan though, ….thank you very much Red Sox, you just made it easier in the AL BEast. Francona made that team work; he kept the egos in check, gave his talent their due, and tried the balance the needs of the team against what he had to work with.

        Maybe Fancona should see about a job with the Cubs? He cured one curse, maybe he could cure another?

      • ditto65 - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:32 AM

        Imagine Youk sans “Tito the Lion Tamer”.

        Scary stuff – keep the women and children away.

    • witchrunner - Sep 30, 2011 at 7:17 AM

      My guess is that if Tito leaves it’s because he wants to. The only reason to fire him was if the total absence of management to make any move during the course of the season to acquire much needed pitching was at the insistence Tito. And I doubt that was the case.

  3. btwicey - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:36 AM


  4. lovesmesomeme - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:36 AM

    You have got to be kidding me.

  5. cmb79 - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:37 AM

    I hate all things Boston sports, but this guy is a stud manager. They are going to miss him big time. I’m gonna hate seeing him 18 or 19 times with the White Sox. He’s good for an extra 10 wins wherever he lands in my opinion.

  6. kvanhorn87 - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:53 AM

    Most overrated manager of all time. Clueless. He couldn’t win any other place other than Boston or New York. Send him to a rebuilding team and his inadequacies will be apparent.

  7. jhorton83 - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:54 AM

    Such a stupid move. Let me get this straight. They’re firing a manager who presided over the end of the curse, 2 World Series titles after an 86 year drought, and never less than 86 wins in all 8 of his years with the team.. How quickly these “What have you done for me lately?” fans and team executives forget. Needles to say, they’re going to regret this when they suddenly remember what losing for 86 years feels like.

    • drmonkeyarmy - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:02 AM

      Once again, people are over stating the importance of a manager. He is a good manager, no doubt. However, to suggest that the Red Sox will suddenly be losers again because Tito is no longer manager is ridiculous. Look, I don’t want to sound like an ass….I’d probably be saying the same thing if the Phillies fired Charlie….it’s just sometimes people give managers too much credit for winning as they do with losing.

      • bigharold - Sep 30, 2011 at 1:21 AM

        “…. .it’s just sometimes people give managers too much credit for winning as they do with losing.”

        True enough but the point seems to be that Francona is being the fall guy for the RS entire organization’s failure. Francona deserves his share of blame for the September fade but his is no greater than the players and less than Epstein’s. It may well be mutual to a degree but Francona’s being let go appears to be scapegoating in the first degree.

      • jhorton83 - Sep 30, 2011 at 2:02 AM

        If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. And if you’re consistently winning 86 or more games EVERY YEAR, it ain’t broke. Almost every team would kill for that kind of success. Yes, their collapse down the stretch this year was bad. But I think most of that blame goes to the players and the GM who acquired those players. There was a reason the Angels barely made any attempt to re-sign John Lackey. Now everyone sees that reason. And the Red Sox are stuck with that albatross of a player and contract.

  8. drmonkeyarmy - Sep 30, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    They will find somebody else just as good if not better. He had a great run in Boston but it had clearly run its course. I’m sorry but “stud managers” don’t allow such a collapse to happen no matter what the circumstance. As I stated at some point earlier yesterday, sometimes a different voice is needed in the locker room. It is not a reflection on the overall managerial capabilities of the dismissed rather just the need for a different direction. Oh, and suggesting that any manager is good for an extra 10 wins is preposterous…particularly AL managers. 2-3 extra wins tops. To put it into perspective, Matt Kemp had a WAR of 10 this season (baseball reference). Saying that a manager if worth 10 extra wins is the equivalent of inserting Matt Kemp into your line-up….asinine.

    • lbehrendt - Sep 30, 2011 at 2:14 AM

      Exactly. Grady Little is still available. So is Don Zimmer.

      • Old Gator - Sep 30, 2011 at 7:52 AM

        Ah yes – the Return of the Gerbil. Just what the Beanbags need.

    • Jonny 5 - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:39 AM

      You put wayyy too little credit toward good managing monkey man. Look at what Kemp did last season and before. New manager, new 1st base coach, Wham! look at him now. I’m not saying Torre was not good, but he obviously lost his motivation, and proved it by walking out on his team. Sure, some ball players are smart and know the game inside and out and are a constant, but some need to be guided. Some need motivation. Contract year performances anyone??? The manager has the ability to piss away games, or kill his players during the season so they have nothing left at the end (Freddie and the Braves) Seriously though. Managing is very important imo.

      Lets not think in terms of how many wins a manager is worth, but how many losses they are responsible for..

    • dasher521 - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:56 AM

      I’d be interested to know exactly how managers prevent a collapse, no matter what circumstances. They probably pull their bat and glove out of moth balls, do a little long toss and then activate themselves.

  9. verytalldad - Sep 30, 2011 at 2:22 AM

    Francona to the Nats? Not likely. He mocked our Presidents race earlier in the year. Snob.

    He is not welcome in DC.

    • natstowngreg - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:29 AM

      He will be welcome in DC. His unfortunate remarks about the Racing Presidents will be forgiven, and his potential to take the Nats into contention will be celebrated.

      Looks like Davey wants to manage another season, and Rizzo is inclined to let him do it. But if Francona becomes available, that can change.

  10. bigleagues - Sep 30, 2011 at 2:44 AM

    Classic . . . some of the same people who were commenting Francona should be fired are now saying the Red Sox are stupid for “firing” him – when the report clearly states that it was Francona who asked the team to not pick up his option – and we don’t have any first hand confirmation that any of its true. Truly classic.

    The Boston sports media is a toxic cancerous bunch. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if Francona is tired of dealing with the half-wit idiot questions like the ones he was getting Wednesday night. If the report is true it would also explain why he was on the verge of tears as the post-game press conference proceeded and also help explain why he seemed ready to blow his cool at any second.

    Then again if I had to endure questions like “Terry, any comment on how you’re feeling right now?” (like sh*t) or “so where does the team go from here?” (home) or “what does tonight’s loss mean heading into the off-season?” (how the f*&k should I know) – I’d probably beg to be let out of the asylum as well.

  11. bigleagues - Sep 30, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    “Curly’s Curse” – here is the bloated bloviator himself making the most cringe-worthy statement possible:

    • Old Gator - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:00 AM

      Sorry, didn’t click this video – three or four televised Republican debates already fulfilled my yearly quota of brain-dead spite, bile and sanctimony.

      • guypatsfan - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:26 AM

        I’d most definitely hit her, though!

      • Old Gator - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:43 AM

        Then you’ve been watching too much football.

      • bigleagues - Sep 30, 2011 at 11:40 AM

        She’s pretty hot – if you go for the California/Jock/Beauty Pageant Princess type (and who doesn’t?!) but keep in mind she is about 6 feet tall and has rear end the size of your uncle Vito.

  12. 1historian - Sep 30, 2011 at 6:43 AM

    Interesting sidenote – The sox’ owner just built himself a house in the most exclusive section of Boston – Brookline – for $10,000,000.

    If Francona wants to leave – best of luck to you, skipper, and many thanks

    I’m so old I can remember when his dad was playing for the Orioles back in the 50’s.

  13. mornelithe - Sep 30, 2011 at 7:50 AM

    Well, given how many people are calling for his head, I can’t say I’m surprised. There’s only so much that I’d be willing to put up with, and it appears Terry’s had his limit. I wonder if it’s because of the public/media outcry, more than anything to do with the actual team itself.

    • Old Gator - Sep 30, 2011 at 7:59 AM

      I can remember when folks in Macondo were crying for Jimmy Johnson to come in and replace Don Shula – and Shula was more than happy to let that fast-talking shyster replace him out of plain old disgust with the local press and tawrk raydeeo boneheads, and probably with the fans as well. And what did we get for that? The Feens haven’t been a serious factor in the NFL East but maybe twice in all the years since. Francona will do just fine – teams will be knifing each other front and back for a month or two to claim him. And I can see the Beanbags, their entire scummy retinue of media hangers-on and their clueless fans sliding back into a long, long epoch of Borg doormat that had always seemed so natural to them.

      • mornelithe - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:14 AM

        Well, I certainly don’t enjoy seeing the Sox part ways with Francona, but I wish him the best. As far as Red Sox manager’s go, he’s definitely delivered more than most in recent history. I only hope this doesn’t cause the downfall of the team (or…continue the downfall?), and that someone else is found that is capable of pulling them all together.

        I also hope this doesn’t shift focus away from the sheer ineptitude of Curt Young. That guy should be washing golf balls for the rest of his life.

  14. brockw82 - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:00 AM

    2012 – The Red Soxalypse!

  15. sparkycon - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:03 AM

    As a Yankee fan it, I have to say that having Francona out of the way is the best thing we could hope for. In my estimation, he’s the best manager in baseball. Why don’t you re-hire Grady Little?

  16. cshearing - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:20 AM

    The fact that he wants out is very telling. That Boston media circus has to be taxing and frustrating. Maybe tone it down a little, douchebag sports reporters?

    Truthfully, I think the Boston sports market has become spoiled over the past 10 years. All 4 major teams have now won championships during this time. Look for a recession period of doom & gloom soon.

  17. ikedavisnose - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:38 AM

    I think kill someone if it happened but if
    the Yankees lose in the first round do you think that the Yankees would fire Girardi like every Yankee fan wants them to (I am not a Skankee fan I absolutely hate them) Just a thought

  18. ikedavisnose - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:48 AM

    To add to my post I forgot to the most important part the fact that the Skankees could infact sign Tito

  19. danjoe22 - Sep 30, 2011 at 8:59 AM

    I am a Yankee fan who has no sympathy for the Red Sox, primarily because of what happened in 2004. Strange things seem to happen to the Bosox and this is just another. Firing Francona is an indication that the Sox are reeling and not thinking at this time. If they fire Francona, may they continue to implode.

    • mornelithe - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:20 AM

      Please re-read the article, Francona hasn’t been fired, he isn’t interested in continuing as Red Sox manager. There’s a difference.

      As far as 2004, it’s hardly the Sox fault that the Yankee’s choked, anymore than it is the Yankee’s fault that the Sox collapsed, this year. I fail to see how that’s really relevant, but to each their own, I guess.

      I will say this, don’t you guys want competition for the ALCS, as opposed to just being given it? It seems that championships bred from true competition are far far more valuable than those simply won because everyone else sucks lol =)

  20. dasher521 - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:02 AM

    And now, “The Curse of Tito” is born! Next Sawks World Series – 2100.

  21. cackalackyank - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:11 AM

    Well this is not surprising if it is Tito’s idea. Picture this…let’s say he stays, now let’s say the Sox stumble again out of the gate. Tito does not want to be Willie Randolph. Called into a hotel room or office after a mid season loss and canned. Also, while the game is a team sport, and that should equate to shared blame, where is “the buck” supposed to stop?

  22. jshamrock - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:24 AM

    160 some million on payroll and you don’t make the playoffs. Someone had to pay. I don’t think it’s the right thing to do, but something had to happen. He won’t be out of work too long.

  23. scrappymcgowan - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    Franconia and Youkilis have both got to go. My friend Pat Gray from Cavendish, Vermont says they need to bring back George Scott or even Bill Buckner. Personally, I want to see Bill Lee coach ’em.

  24. scrappymcgowan - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:39 AM

    Franconia and Youkilis have both got to go. My friend Pat Gray from Cavendish, Vermont says they need to bring back George Scott or even Billy Buckner. Personally, I want to see Bill Lee coach ’em.

  25. Pat Gray - Sep 30, 2011 at 9:43 AM

    J.D. Drew should become player coach.

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